In recent decades, there have been numerous changes to the treatment of the bodily remains of the deceased within our Canadian and North American societies, due to rapid developments in the technologies used in bodily disposition. The new practices concerning the treatment of the bodies of the departed have direct consequences on the way we live out our grief. They also influence our ability to embark upon a path of healing after the loss we have experienced. The Catholic Bishops of Canada are proposing to the faithful and to all people of good will this reflection on the ways we treat the bodies of the deceased and live out our grief when faced with the death of a loved one. We are offering this guide to dealing with death and the various forms of bodily disposition, as well as the Catholic liturgical and pastoral practices that accompany the grieving process. We hope it will be useful for families and friends dealing with the loss of a loved one, for pastors and those who welcome and accompany the bereaved, as well as for those in the funeral industry who take the religious dimension into account.
The full document can be accessed on the CCCB website at bit.ly/cccb_buryingthedead.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), through its Commission for Doctrine, has released a new document, titled Science and Catholic Faith. Illustrated with colourful posters, it is intended for students at the secondary school level, who, when learning about their faith, often ask the question, “Are faith and science compatible?”. It can be read on its own or can be used as a tool to support science and religious education courses.
The booklet is now available for purchase from CCCB Publications.
Information for purchasing the resource can be found at: https://esubmitit.sjpg.com/cccb/index.aspx?component=ProductDetails&id=184-968. You can place an order by email
( firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (1-800-769-1147).
(CCCB – Ottawa)… The Episcopal Commission for Doctrine of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has released a new document entitled “Discovering the Unity of Life and Love – A Reflection on the Foundations for a Theology of Human Love”. At the same time as reflecting on the images and conflicting messages about the meaning of life and of love in contemporary Canadian society, the Bishops recall “the beauty and profundity of how God created us and our primary relations to others, to the world and to God.”
Among other things, the document considers the human person in relation to others; how we become aware of our human freedom; how identity is revealed through our body and some of the implications of sexual difference on contemporary gender theories; it also considers the proper role of sexual desire in the light of Christ’s presence mediated through grace and the desire for human fulfilment.
The Doctrinal Commission hopes “that this reflection… can shed light on the reasonableness of the vision of human love”. In our culture that glorifies fragmentation, in which we are alienated from ourselves and each other, the Bishops of the Commission, as “co-workers for your joy,” aim through this text to repropose a unified vision of life and love.
“As pastors of the Church in Canada, it is our desire to recall the deep, human reasons for the Church’s vision of human love and life. We wish to rediscover the family as a place where the essential truths about human life and love can be discovered and embraced; the family as a place where our humanity can flourish and serve the common good; the family as a community where human wounds and vulnerability can be embraced with mercy.”
The 17-page document, which is available only online, can be accessed on the CCCB website at
(CCCB – Ottawa)… The Episcopal Commission for Doctrine of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has released a new document entitled “The Co-responsibility of the lay Faithful in the Church and the World“. This pastoral letter explores the great responsibility of the laity in God’s plan for the world, in which they are not simply collaborators of the clergy but are truly “co-responsible” for the Church’s being and acting. It notes the unique mission of the laity as being “in the world” and transforming it from within through their life and witness. It also discusses the danger of clericalism, and considers several areas of society today that stand in need of the transforming power of the Gospel brought by the Church’s lay faithful in communion with members of the clergy and consecrated life.
The Bishops of the Commission insist on the importance of promoting the lay vocation. “Bishops and priests must do their utmost to foster the sense of the co- responsibility of the laity. The daily contact with the internal life of the Church must not lead the hierarchy and clergy to mistrust the authentic responsibility of the laity, even implicitly, nor should it lead them to reduce that responsibility merely to consultation on material or worldly matters” (no. 9).
Dated the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, September 8, 2016, the Bishops conclude their document by expressing their hope that “all the members of the Body of Christ take up together the responsibility of bringing Christ, the only Saviour, to the world, in a spirit of family, friendship, and communion.”
Printed copies of the document are on sale from CCCB Publications (telephone 1-800-769-1147 or by emailing email@example.com).
Link to the Document (PDF)
To aid Canadian Catholics in celebrating the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy which ends this November 20, the Episcopal Commission for Doctrine of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has prepared a text entitled The Beauty of Mercy: Pope Francis and Confession. It is a series of quotations from the Holy Father on the importance and beauty of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and contains likewise words that encourage and challenge both penitents and priest confessors.
Link to the resource (PDF)
Tri-fold pamphlet version on 8.5×14″ paper (PDF)
The Episcopal Commission for Doctrine of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has released a new document entitled “The Missionary Dynamic of the Parish Today“. Written from the current Canadian context, the text emphasizes that “spreading faith in Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of humanity, is the Church’s fundamental and primary mission” (no. 1). The reflection is primarily for pastors and those who serve in parishes, but also for all Catholics who wish to understand better the role of the parish in the Church’s mission. The Commission notes that “it is through the parish that most Canadians experience the Catholic Church.”
Printed copies are on sale from CCCB Publications
Why do we need a Saviour? What is salvation? These are some of the questions that are explored in this reflection offered by the Episcopal Commission for Doctrine of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB). Not intended to be a dogmatic or systematic treatment of the issue, the text is provided as an opportunity for theological reflection on the meaning of the Paschal Mystery and on the role of Christ in our salvation, as we celebrate our Lord’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection. In order to assist readers in studying and discussing the text, it is followed by a Study Outline that sums up the key points made in the reflection.
This theological reflection will be of interest to students of theology, as well as to all Christians who wish to reflect more deeply on the mystery of salvation.
The text can be freely downloaded. Requests for permission to reprint it in whole or in part are to be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Link to the document (PDF)
The Episcopal Commission for Doctrine of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has issued a text entitled “The Essential Elements of Evangelization Today”. Written from the context of the Canadian pluralist society, this new 16-page document is intended not only for priests, consecrated men and women, and those actively involved in pastoral work, but also for “all Catholics who desire to understand better and respond more zealously to their call to evangelize the modern world.” Although composed prior to the release of Pope Francis’ recent Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), its approach and recommendations are similar, while providing a uniquely Canadian perspective.
Printed copies are on sale from CCCB Publications
What this List is and How to Use it
The Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini was different from many other papal documents in that it made numerous recommendations of a pastoral and/or practical nature. These recommendations, which apply variously to all in the Church – both clergy and laity – are gathered here in a topical index so that they may be accessed easily. It is hoped that this resource may be of benefit to those who serve in the Church and wish to put into practice the Holy Father’s wishes regarding the word of God.
Link to the Document